These stockings are full of gifts and donations to folks living in Ponoka’s care facilities. The idea came from resident Ashley Smith who took in donations and created these stockings full of supplies. Photo submitted

Stocking stuffers full of Christmas cheer for Ponoka seniors

A Ponoka resident put together these donations of stockings full of needed supplies

A stocking stuffer idea went from thought to action in very little time.

Ponoka resident Ashley Smith had the idea to bring some Christmas cheer to folks who don’t normally have a gift during the holiday season. Smith is a psychiatric aide at the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury who noticed that at this time of year there are some seniors without Christmas present when others are receiving.

“You could kind of see the hurt on their faces,” said Smith of patients.

Smith knew she wanted to do something to benefit those folks and she reached out to the different agencies in town. She figured there would be a need for some seniors and she was right. “There was a huge need actually.”

To gain some interest, Smith posted a video on social media of her goal and she received immediate feedback. Folks donated items and money to help her fill up the stockings.

Within the first 20 minutes of posting she had enough items to fill up 20 stockings and everything kind of snowballed from there.

The stockings were full of personal hygiene products, chocolates, word searches and colouring books as well as socks, toques and mittens. Smith said she even received some handmade donations for the stockings.

“I had such good support and such good turnout that I’ll definitely do it next year,” said Smith, adding that she feels this will make a big difference in people’s lives.

She ended up handing out 56 stockings to the administrators of the care facilities, who will hand them out on Christmas day.

The gifts are for seniors in home care, long-term care, the Sunrise Village and the Centennial Centre. Smith added her gratitude to everyone that jumped in to donate money and items to the cause.

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